When it comes to job searching, your resume is an essential tool for landing a new job. It’s also one of the most tedious documents to create. Somehow, you’re expected to cram your contact information, education, skills, and a decade’s worth of work experience and highlights into a single document while also making sure it’s optimized with keywords and looks clean and professional, but also has some personality. Seriously, it can feel like an intimidating interview process is easier to get through than crafting a resume — but, of course, you can’t make it to an interview stage without a good resume.
All this front-end work can make it very challenging to get motivated to start the job search process. Creating a high-quality resume requires a good chunk of concentration and time, so it’s no wonder why many people outsource the task to someone else. Busy job seekers who have the means can pay a professional resume writing service to do all of this prep work for them. Given the time and energy that goes into writing a resume, this is truly a luxury — but is it worth it?
What is a Professional Resume Writing Service?
A professional resume writer can come from a multi-person organization or work solo. Regardless of their employment status, they are getting paid to take all your work experience, skills, education, and other information and organize it to create a high-quality resume. That said, professional resume writer services usually go beyond just saving you some time by whipping up a general resume. They also know how to spin and market your experience to fit better the kinds of jobs you’re looking for, and they also know how to make sure the document is keyword-rich without it being obvious.
Having a professional draft your resume for you can be nice – especially if you’re a busy parent who hardly has time to eat, let alone spend three hours on a single document. However, like every luxury, a professionally written resume comes at a cost. According to LinkedIn, you can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $700 on a resume writing service, so given the investment, it’s essential to consider whether or not it’s the right choice for you.
Pros and Cons of Using a Professional Resume Writing Service
Making the best decision for yourself always helps to have a list of pros and cons before moving forward. Hiring a professional resume writer makes the most sense for some people, no matter the price. For others, however, it might be a luxury that isn’t worth the investment. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision that no one can make but you. To help you out, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind.
✅ Pro: Professional resume writers know the recruitment industry, so they know what to prioritize based on algorithms, talent management systems, and recruiter behaviors
❌ Con: Since you aren’t the one writing the resume, you won’t know the ins and outs of what’s actually in the document, which might make discussing your experience in an interview tricky
✅ Pro: The resume will be tailored to your specific career or industry, which means it will be keyword-rich to make it through filters and targeted searches
❌ Con: This service can be costly (and the better the service, the higher the price)
✅ Pro: Since professional resume writers do this for a living, you can rest assured the document will be well crafted with no spelling or grammatical errors
❌ Con: There are usually a select number of templates to choose from when you use a professional resume writing service, so the final product will come out with a generic look that lacks creativity (this is fine for some industries but problematic for others)
✅ Pro: If you have employment gaps, a history of job-hopping, or any other red flag on your resume, a pro can address it in a way that won’t set off a recruiter or hiring manager’s alarms
❌ Con: To craft a resume, a pro will need a lot of information from you, so you’ll still have to put in quite a bit of time filling out questionnaires and digging up documents to supply them with sufficient info
✅ Pro: For a lot of us, bragging is complicated, so we end up underplaying our accomplishments, but that won’t be the case on a resume written by a pro since their job is to make you look good
❌ Con: Again, since you are not the one writing this resume, it may not accurately reflect your personality, how you speak, or how you write, and this could become an issue if it’s obvious enough for a recruiter or hiring manager to pick up on
DIY Resume Tips
Regardless of the cost, quality, or something else holding you back from hiring a pro, there’s still no way of getting around the fact that you’ll need an updated resume to land a new job. So, in this case, you’ll need to draft one up on your own. Here are some tips to help you craft one that’s as close to a professional copy as possible:
Find a template to customize, so you don’t have to start from scratch (Canva has some great options), or use a resume generator like Resume Rev
Draft it by section for a few days to make the task less overwhelming
Opt for a non-traditional format that focuses on your skills and career highlights rather than writing several job summaries
Prioritize your content to help you stick to one page
Try to make the document keyword-rich organically, don’t sacrifice writing quality to make the keywords fit
If possible, include numbers/data to showcase your work (they are more eye-catching when someone is skimming the document)
Keep bullet points minimal and concise
Choose a standard font in a size that is readable (usually no lower than size 10)
Link to your LinkedIn profile, professional website, and email in your contact information
Save the document as a PDF for easy submissions
Include a professional summary at the top that says who you are, what you do, how many years of experience you have, and two or three areas of expertise
Make minor edits throughout as needed for different job applications
Do What’s Best For You
It doesn’t matter if you write your resume yourself or if you outsource it to a professional, there are pros and cons on either side, so it all comes down to which option makes the most sense for you based on your skills, goals, and lifestyle. As long as you come out with a well-written resume in the end, how you get to that point is irrelevant to a recruiter or hiring manager.
Once you have your new resume ready to go, put it to good use by joining The Mom Project and applying to some of the many fantastic opportunities in the job marketplace.